Until a Corrupt Leader’s Ouster, Seizing Looted Assets Can Be an Exercise in Futility

By Colby Adams

The following is the first of a 2-part report describing why financial corruption often goes unchecked until a kleptocrat's ouster and how experts want to address the problem. Follow the headlines and you'll find an all too common story: the political winds shift, a leader is deposed and a fortune in dirty money is uncovered in a warren of offshore accounts. But why did no one stop the plundering sooner? To answer the question is to describe a Catch-22. Despite the financial sector's implementation of sophisticated anti-money laundering (AML) programs and a purported global focus on combating grand corruption, investigators...